Lexus continues the slow unveiling of its first dedicated all-electric vehicle, the RZ 450e, with the release of the first interior photo and a confirmation that April 20 is the day it will finally make a full debut.
You may find it weird that the Lexus RZ features a yoke instead of a regular steering wheel, but it's not that surprising if you remember that the Toyota bZ4X is also available with a yoke in some markets.
The two vehicles are closely related and their yokes look almost identical, bar the different badging. This suggests the Lexus RZ 450e uses the same variable-ratio, steer-by-wire system as the Toyota bZ4X.
As a reminder, bZ4X models equipped with the optional One Motion Grip yoke-like control do away with the mechanical linkage between the steering wheel and the front wheels, adjusting the tyre angle precisely according to the driver's intention.
This solution is said to enable full-lock with just a 150-degree turn, with no need for hand-over-hand turning. In addition, One Motion Grip is said to provide more legroom, improved driving position freedom, and ease of entry or exit.
Gallery: Lexus RZ 450e
All these attributes should apply to the Lexus RZ too, although the automaker did not say whether the yoke will come standard or as an option.
Looking at the rest of the dashboard, it's clearly different from the one in the Toyota and more driver-focused. It's got a more pronounced cockpit feel thanks to the driver-oriented center console and the focus on the instrument binnacle that should be more visible for the driver looking above the yoke-like control.
This setup also suggests a more involving driving experience, but we're getting ahead of ourselves. Lexus has announced no specs yet, but in earlier photos we were able to distinguish the DIRECT4 badge on the back of the RZ, which suggests the electric crossover will get the new DIRECT4 AWD dual-motor powertrain.
When it first announced the DIRECT4 technology in late 2020, Lexus said the all-electric application would have two electric motors making 201 horsepower and 221 lb-ft (299 Nm) of torque each.
If that still stands, the RZ 450e will be significantly more powerful than the Toyota bZ4X, which only gets a total of 215 horsepower and 248 lb-ft (336 Nm) in AWD guise. We'll learn if that's the case on April 20.